Areas of activity

Effectively protecting the environment and climate

Environmental and climate protection is very important to us. We are not only making increasing use of renewable energy, but we are also working on systematically reducing the amount of pharmaceutical waste.

Umwelt und Klima wirksam schützen

Our measures to protect the environment, in a way that also conserves our financial resources, is of great importance to all divisions of the PHOENIX group. We are rigorously following legal requirements when we care for the world around us, but we also know that it is the right and responsible way to conduct business.

Reducing pharmaceutical waste


In 2015, the PHOENIX group had to properly dispose of more than 1,200 metric tons of pharmaceutical waste. There are two different reasons for this. First, patients – especially in Northern Europe – return medicines that are no longer required or are past their expiration date. These are then disposed of by wholesalers – in other words, by us.


Our objective: We want to reduce the costs resulting from pharmaceutical waste by 10 per cent within four years.

Second, drugs in damaged packaging may no longer be sold and must therefore be treated as hazardous waste. However, when transporting more than ten million pharmaceutical packages every day, damage cannot be completely avoided.

To achieve this, we will use our quality management system, which we introduced in accordance with the GDP guidelines. By raising awareness among our employees through training and modified work processes, we want to reduce pharmaceutical waste and ideally eliminate it completely.

Pharmaceutical waste by region (in metric tons)

Energy efficiency

We have set for ourselves the goal of making more efficient use of energy in the different areas of our company – even above and beyond the legal requirements. Consequently, we are improving the energy efficiency of our buildings with LED lighting systems.

We are operating a detailed energy monitoring system for our buildings, which meets the strict legal requirements; at the same time, we are introducing certified energy management systems.

As we grow, we try to make energy-efficient investments wherever possible. Oliver Windholz Chief Executive Officer

We are striving for a high level of transparency with regard to our energy consumption and therefore conduct energy audits at selected locations in Germany four times a year. In doing so, we are identifying measures to save additional energy.

Our actions include, for example:

  • Checking whether we can limit or change the operating times of our ventilation systems.
  • Systematically and increasingly introducing energy-saving LED lighting.
  • Training our employees in other ways of saving energy in their day-to-day work in addition to turning off their monitors when it’s time to go home. 

Transport logistics

We systematically record the amount of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) emitted by our company. Sixty-nine per cent of our emissions result from the transportation of drugs, either by ourselves or third parties (Scope 1–3 in the CSR Report). Here, the largest amount of harmful emissions are produced in Western Europe (including Germany), followed by Eastern and Northern Europe.

Overall greenhouse gas emissions by region (Scope 1–3) CO2 in metric tons

Having efficient transport logistics constitutes an effective approach to protecting the environment and reducing emissions. Consequently, we are combining various measures:

  • Switching to fuel-efficient vehicles,
  • optimal route planning for shorter journeys, and
  • training employees in economical (and thus environmentally sound) driving styles.

Renewable energies

We use renewable energies, particularly for generating power for our buildings – and are thus promoting climate protection. Our subsidiary in the Czech Republic has fitted the roofs of six distribution centres with photovoltaic systems. We are setting up a similar pilot project in Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Our Scandinavian business units have been exclusively using green electricity since 2010. Compared with fossil fuels, electricity sources that are fully renewable reduce CO2 emissions by 14,000 metric tons each year.

CSR Report

Would you like to learn more about our latest developments in sustainability? You can find all the details in our latest CSR Report.

Find out more